State Watch

Brain of former NFL player suspected in mass shooting to be examined for CTE

Officials will examine the brain of Phillip Adams, the former professional football player accused of fatally shooting a South Carolina physician, three family members and a repairman before killing himself, will be tested for a degenerative disease.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said in a statement to media outlets Friday that Adams’s family has allowed her to do the examination as part of his autopsy. The examination will be performed in conjunction with Boston University.

The autopsy will be an attempt to test for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The illness has been found in a number of other former football players who suffered repeated brain trauma.

Gast did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Authorities say Adams, 33, went to the home of a prominent doctor, 70-year-old Robert Lesslie, on Wednesday afternoon. Police found Lesslie, along with his wife, 69-year-old Barbara Lesslie, and their two grandchildren dead with gunshot wounds. James Lewis, an air conditioning technician who was working at the home on Wednesday, was also killed. 

Adams was found dead shortly after midnight in his parents’ home with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lesslie had reportedly treated Adams. Police are still searching for a motive in the shooting.

Tags Chronic traumatic encephalopathy Phillip Adams

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